Neyha Bhat sings Chinese opera

September 23, 2008 — by Tiffany Tseng and Theresa Yeh

Senior Neyha Bhat sang a solo at a Chinese opera performance at Le Petit Trianon Theatre in downtown San Jose on Sept. 13, quite a surprise considering Bhat is of Indian descent and does not speak the language.

Bhat has been taking singing lessons from a man who goes by Instructor Dung, a well-known Chinese singer, at the Calder Music Academy, and was chosen to be one of the students performing at the Chinese festival.

“I knew the song was about moons and rivers, but I couldn’t really understand it,” said Bhat.

Dung had previously seen an Indian girl singing a Chinese song at another show and wanted to give it a try. In order to memorize the piece, Bhat had to spell out the Chinese words the way that her teacher pronounced them.

Although she was the only student who was not Chinese, Bhat said that all her peers were very supportive and encouraging.

“It was a good experience because I got to try something new that I never thought I would have done,” said Bhat.